Eurozone recession dated back to start 2008

The eurozone has been in recession since January 2008, the Centre of Economic Policy Research (CEPR) says in a statement, citing the latest employment data from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.

CEPR says that after 57 quarters of economic expansion, which began in the third quarter of 1993, the eurozone followed America into recession. It slumped just one month after the American economy’s downturn had begun.

The statement notes that historically there has been “no clear lead-lag relationship” between both economies. However, it says the eurozone’s cyclical pattern has been “smoother” in the past. For example, America went into recession in 2001, CEPR says, and the eurozone did not.

Industrial production peaked in December 2007, with marginally lower levels in January, it continues. Sales reached a high in March 2007 and showed an intermediate peak in January 2008. Unemployment, the CEPR says, was almost flat from December 2007 to March 2008.

CEPR says the movement in eurozone GDP is “tracked in the large member countries”: Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with Spain peaking in the second rather than the first quarter of 2008.